The Nut Job, directed by Peter Lepeniotis, tries to be funny but falls short. The odd thing is that the film showed such promise when the trailer came out. However, the finished product is a bundle of disappointment and barely funny slap-stick.
With a voice cast consisting of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson, you might wonder where it all went wrong. The truth of the matter is this, the story revolves around a curmudgeonly squirrel, Surly. He isn’t one who plays nice with others. Due to certain sequences of events, he is sentenced to exile. He has to go from being a not-so-likable character to being the hero. He has to face ridicule and the resident animals of the park do not trust him. The story also has the element of a heist. The animals need food to survive the winter and the only available source is a nut store. Hence the title “Nut Job”. Surly has to face vicious rats, semi-vicious dogs and fend for himself. And in the end, he has to save the park. By the way, there is an actual bank job which takes as well.
The movie would have been better if there was some heart attached to it. As the film meanders and dawdles, you get the feeling that the story is not capturing your imagination. Instead we have a few slap-stick gags which are just designed to make little kids laugh. But think about it, little kids these days are not easily fooled, nor are they easily entertained. There is no cohesion to the characters. Will Arnett’s voice is just wasted in this avatar. Katherine Heigl does not bring her character to life. On the other hand, Brendan Fraser’s over-the-top voice and Liam Neeson’s growl, will make you smile. If only for a little while, and then you will realise that the movie is still going on. There aren’t any quotable one-liners or notable situations. On the whole, the movie is a let-down. You would wish that the story or the characters grab you, but there isn’t any body to the script. It feels limp and tired. At the end of it, it is just about the nuts.
Why you should watch this film?
It is a movie for children. Designed to capture their attention, they will have a laugh at some of the gags. You can also enjoy this film if you are just looking forward to watching any animated feature.